On August 8-9, Orange County Public School nurses, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) at School Based Healthcare Centers (SBHCs) and CHILL behavioral health counselors practicing in the 12 Winter Park Consortium (WPC) schools attended a training to learn a new electronic health record system: Welligent. Since nearly the inception of the Winter Park Health Foundation’s Coordinated Youth Initiative, comprised of the School Nursing Initiative, SBHCs, CHILL and Healthy School Teams, an electronic health record has been utilized to capture data critical to providing high quality care to students, understanding health and wellbeing trends, and documenting ever increasing physical and emotional health needs in the 12 schools. An electronic health record also provides important information connecting healthcare to academic learning. For example, return to class rates are captured in the system for each time a student visits the nurse’s clinic. With the ability to treat a student on campus and send them back to class, if and when appropriate, the student is able to resume classroom learning quickly.
After much research and many demonstrations of marketplace electronic health record systems, Welligent was chosen as the replacement to the existing system, which had become outdated. Welligent has been utilized by the Palm Beach County Health Care District nursing program for over 15 years and is in several other large school districts such as the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) provided a multi-year grant to the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools to purchase and implement the new system. During the summer months, when school was not in session, a team of “super users,” including the coordinators of the SNI and CHILL programs, key NP and OCPS nursing staff and WPHF staff, worked with Welligent experts to customize and build out the system to meet unique local needs. This super user team also traveled to meet with the Palm Beach County Health Care District staff in July to learn more about how Welligent is used and view a demonstration.
The nurses and NPs at the SBHCs were trained on August 8; the CHILL counselors attended training on August 9. A third day of one-on-one training was offered on August 10. In the training, each group was taken through steps to set up user profiles and they were trained on how, for example, to input nursing office visits, set up a schedule for medication administration and to document counseling sessions. With the migration to Welligent comes an increase in functionality, data collection and reporting capabilities. With bustling nursing clinics and a full schedule for the counselors, this increase in functionality will be very beneficial. The system went live on August 14, the first day of the 2017-18 school year.